WhatIfGaming E3 2009: Xbox 360 Milo & Kate Exclusive Preview – Peter Molyneux + Steven Spielberg Let Us Experience Milo

E3 2009: Project Milo / Natal Preview

It was shocking to imagine a world of a simple lad called ‘Milo,’ letting us interact with all its surroundings and what not. We were contacted a while ago by Lionhead Studios to have a chance to “play an unannounced title” that we remained very skeptical about: Fable III – Black & White III? Could it be? Nope. The result was even better: Natal. Project Natal is the code name for the new controller-free gaming and entertainment experience led by Microsoft. If that was not innovation aside, Alex Kipman, who started the project from his origins in Brazil, chose Natal, a city along the northeastern coast of Brazil, as a tribute to his country. Latin-wise, Natal means “to be born.” This is exactly what Microsoft Corporation did yesterday: they allowed people to be born for the first time in a new groundbreaking genre.

Lionhead Studios simply exuded confidence and a spectra that was worth noting to the presentation this year than last. They took up a revolutionary project titled ‘Milo’ that lets players interact creatively with a young boy as he transitions in his childhood. Asking Peter Molyneux if adulthood would encompass simply led to the following:

It would be hard to imagine Milo as an adult. We want players, kids and adults alike, to feel like like they are a part of a creative and imaginative world of Milo. Go fishing with him, or simply talk about your day – and he will listen.

-Peter Molyneux, Lionhead Studios

We had to test this out for ourselves to really believe it. The gameplay consisted primarily of a scene where Milo was swinging on a set. I was confused as to what to say to this boy, so we simply started with an introduction: ‘Hi…my name is Usman.’ And of course, our other unruly correspondents jumped in to say: ‘Hey Milo! My name is Jeanne.’ Milo actually stopped as if interrupted to say ‘Hi’ back and said: “Pleased to meet everyone.”

Now it is clear that Milo is not for a group for specific things, and it is solely a single-player experience, but Project Natal actually recognized everyones voice in the room and their faces. It was definitely a moment to see. So, suddenly, Milo took us to a river like the E3 stage demo at the Microsoft Conference. He told us to put on goggles and then eventually told us to try and catch some fish. The objective was to catch fish so that he could finish his homework – to draw pictures of fishes in his diary. Once we caught a few fishes, he put them in a bucket and told us he needed help in drawing them. This is where our demo was cut off. Or so we thought…Molyneux would not let us go on! But we pleaded to just do one drawing and we would not report on whatever the outcome, so he said give it a shot but reminded us that this was all still in the works. We made a completely awful drawing. We are talking a bad looking Pikachu. Milo took it, and we could actually see our drawing rendered on the piece of paper Milo held. Confirmation success! That was a beautiful detail. Milo said, “That’s not a bad drawing, but I can’t tell if it is a fish or not!” and he continued to laugh a little bit while putting the drawing down.

This was where we were dragged from the room. We could only make out that Milo further said “here take this and lets go back around…muff muff muffle.” We are assuming he will let us hold something and walk back to his house with him. Either way, Milo & Kate (considering you also have a female child character as part of the storyline) was simply stunning. We were not about to leave the room at all, and wanted to have a lot of time with it. Unfortunately our time was limited as the Milo demo had to be packed up since there were only 5 press members allowed to preview it. Even in that short time, we felt a connection to Milo, a strange and eerie draw.




Posted By: Usman Ihtsham
ON Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
5:36 PM